WESTMINSTER, Md. — The Ravens have wrapped up their first day of workouts of the summer with rookies, quarterbacks, and selected veterans participating in helmets and shells without contact in the morning and afternoon sessions.
The biggest news of the morning was the first revelation of who would be placed on the active PUP (physically unable to perform) list to start training camp. These players include rookie defensive tackle Terrence Cody and cornerback Walt Harris, who did not pass their respective conditioning tests.
Others believed to be on the list are safety Ed Reed (hip), cornerbacks Fabian Washington (knee) and Lardarius Webb (knee), linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (leg), offensive tackle Oniel Cousins (throat), running back Matt Lawrence (knee), cornerback Prince Miller, and receiver Rodelin Anthony.
It is still undetermined whether Jared Gaither (foot) will be played on PUP, as he was not present for Tuesday morning’s session despite John Harbaugh saying he expected him to be there Monday afternoon.
Unlike the reserve PUP list that keeps a player sidelined for the first six weeks of the regular season, players may come off the active PUP list at any point during training camp. However, once they’re removed, they are no longer eligible to return to the PUP list.
Players on the active PUP list still count toward the 80-man training camp roster.
Check back here for more updates (time-stamped below) throughout the rest of the day.
6:00 p.m. — The afternoon session was very uneventful with the team running through many of the same individual drills we saw in the morning in addition to some special team alignments lead by special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg.
There was no change in status among the 10 players placed on the active PUP list this morning, but Terrence Cody did do some agility work and running at the conclusion of the afternoon session.
It clearly wasn’t a good day for the rookie defensive tackle as defensive line coach even playfully—but truthfully—labeled him as “persona non grata.”
The big piece of news from the afternoon session was the appearance of safety Ed Reed, who did some stretching and agility work with trainer Bill Tessendorf. Reed, placed on the active PUP list this morning, isn’t expected back at practice anytime soon, but it was good seeing No. 20 doing some work on the field as he continues to recover from offseason hip surgery.
The Ravens will reconvene Wednesday morning at 8:45 a.m. for another day of lighter work by the quarterbacks, rookies, and select veterans.
2:23 p.m. — With the controversy created in Dallas over rookie Dez Bryant’s refusal to carry veteran Roy Williams’ shoulder pads, the Baltimore media asked Flacco which rookie he had chosen to carry his pads for the start of camp.
Of course, the humble—and at times, sarcastic—quarterback declined to have any kind of special attention and insists he’s perfectly capable of carrying his own equipment off the field.
“I don’t want to have some guy carry my pads in,” Flacco said. “Shoot, I feel bad when I’m over signing [autographs] and I’ve got to take this stuff off because the equipment guys come up and take it in for me. … I’ll never do that just because that’s not the way I am.”
1:50 p.m. — After several of his new teammates made comments in support of Troy Smith as the backup quarterback in recent weeks, Marc Bulger had his first opportunity to get out on the field with his quarterback counterparts this morning.
Despite voicing reservations over general manager Ozzie Newsome changing the complexion of the quarterback depth behind him a week ago, Flacco offered an optimistic outlook for Bulger’s ability to pick up Cameron’s offensive system in a timely manner.
“[Bulger’s] been in a similar offense, so it’s just like the little things, the different little words that we have for certain things,” Flacco said. “He’s run the same plays just like everybody pretty much has.”
Harbaugh praised Bulger’s interaction with the other quarterbacks to this point.
“He looked good to me,” the head coach said. “I think he did a nice job in the meetings last night in terms of communicating with our guys, and [Flacco] took him through our offense a little bit. … I think he’s in a learning mode right now.”
1:30 p.m. — The afternoon practice will take place at 3:30 p.m., and we can expect the same type of OTA pace with rookies still getting acclimated to their first training camp.
Of course, Harbaugh said the real test will be Friday when the players put the pads on and hit for the first time this summer.
“Usually, at every level—junior high, high school, college—the first day the pads come on, all knowledge of football leaves their head,” the head coach said. “They forget where they’re supposed to line up. They forget what the play is because the pads are on. You kind of get through that on Friday, and hopefully Saturday that calms down a bit.”
And what should come as no surprise, given Harbaugh’s special teams background as a coach under Andy Reid in Philadelphia, the rookies must understand the importance of special teams in order to make a very crowded, competitive 53-man roster.
“We made a point to draft guys that understand that,” he said. “There won’t be a rookie that makes this team unless he can contribute on special teams, so those guys all know that.”
Any rookie not taking Harbaugh’s words seriously should only look to defensive end Paul Kruger, the team’s second-round pick in 2009, who spent nearly the entire first half of his rookie season on the inactive list a year ago because of his inability to contribute on special teams.
12:45 p.m. — Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron also spoke at the podium following the morning practice.
He expressed optimism for the potential of his offense this season, given the acquisitions of Anquan Boldin and Donte’ Stallworth. Cameron is confident they will pick up the offense quickly after playing in the same system in other places.
“A lot of these plays, we call them the same, they’ve been calling them the same at other places,” he said. “Those guys will come in and haven’t missed a beat. Really, the creativity, that’s kind of the easy part. Execution and getting everybody on the same page [is] what training camp’s about.”
When asked whether the playbook would be tweaked to accommodate his new weapons in the passing game, Cameron explain he’s always tweaking the offense but doesn’t expect to make any drastic changes—not that he’d admit it to the media anyway.
“Execution is where we’re going to get better,” Cameron said. “We’re going to get better at executing in the base offense, continue to run the football, and just execute better. And then, we’ll kind of let the plays evolve from there.”
12:20 p.m. — Head to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from John Harbaugh, Cam Cameron, and Joe Flacco after the morning practice. You can also check out rookie receiver David Reed’s conversation with Thyrl Nelson right after the morning practice concluded!
11:55 a.m. — John Harbaugh spoke with the media following practice, describing the morning practice as a way to initiate the rookies and allow veterans coming off injury to work their way back slowly.
The head coach commented on players who failed the conditioning test, including Terrence Cody and newly-signed veteran cornerback Walt Harris.
“Part of our process is everybody’s got to pass a conditioning test to be sure that they’re ready to compete,” Harbaugh said. “It’s going to be hot out here. Our practices are fast.”
Harbaugh did not express too much shock in learning Cody had not passed the conditioning test, citing how others have failed the conditioning test in the past.
“I’m not surprised. It’s always every year certain guys struggle with that. Guys learn that there’s a certain level of expectation in terms of conditioning that goes with being an NFL team—especially with this team.”
The head coach also talked about his heightened expectations for the offense, citing a need to improve in the red zone. Harbaugh pointed to the continued improvement of Joe Flacco as the key for the offense moving to the next level.
“He’s really getting to that point where the whole offense becomes his offense,” he said, “so he can do more things, he can run more things, make more adjustments at the line of scrimmage, execute under fire a little bit when he’s got to play fast. I think one thing that’s really important is we’ve made a big emphasis on the red zone.”